Evogene is currently growing and testing the FutureAgriculture plants in its greenhouses under two conditions (normal and drought) with the final aim of validating their growth-advantage.
To evaluate the pathways in vivo, scientists at Evogene have established a set of molecular and phenotypic experiments. Molecular parameters are tested to ensure the presence of the FutureAgriculture pathway inside the plant’s DNA and its correct expression. Phenotypic parameters are monitored to check the health and growth of the plant, e.g its general appearance, the efficiency of the photosynthetic systems, the biomass, etc.
The results obtained from previous stages of FutureAgriculture were essential for the selection and optimization of potential pathways to be inserted into higher plants. However, higher plants are more complex and differ from the bacteria used until now (E. coli and cyanobacteria). The preceding tests gave a general direction as for what to expect in the engineered plants; therefore, the whole Consortium is eager to see them growing.